Barnyard CJ Project - Install

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Before beginning your tub replacement project - be sure to allow yourself enough down time with the vehicle.   You must also realize that the following information is BASIC and worked well for the installer - Your installation may vary in difficulty and you may want to alter some of the measurements and work order for your project depending on the style- age & condition of your vehicle.  Your installation may be easier or more difficult / faster or slower depending on your individual conditions.

At the beginning you will probably want to do a bit of frame and/or suspension work while the frame is exposed.

To begin - you will need a basic toolbox including 3/8" & 1/4" socket sets, screwdrivers, wrench set & a full set of torx bits.  You may also want to keep a pad of paper around the project so you can write down how everything disassembled and where all items came from.  Masking tape can make great tags for parts.  Tag both the part and the location where it came from.  This will be very helpful later when reattaching.  Remove the battery tray and drain your radiator.  To remove the steering column - first  remove the lower cover and its support brace at the firewall.  Remove the dash tie-in bolts and disconnect the column clamp located under your master cylinder.  Disconnect the wiring from the column and pull firmly on the wheel or tap with a mallet to disconnect from the steering box extension.  With a #20 torx, disconnect the fuse block from the firewall.   Remove all dash bolts with a #27 torx.  Remove the dash slowly while disconnecting and tagging all wiring and vent cables.  Leaving the wiring harness connected, move dash and its mess of wires That is the technical term!), to sit in your tub.  Disconnect  emergency brake cable, speedometer cable, clutch linkage, accelerator linkage, windshield washer hoses etc...etc...  Also unbolt your transmission cover plate and brake fluid lines.  Unbolt and remove the front fenders and hood.  Note:  the previous instructions should be done in an order and with the proper tools suited to your vehicle.  The next step is to remove the ten (10) body mount bolts - 2 under the firewall - 4 under the seats - 2 in front of the fuel tank and 2 behind the fuel tank.  With these 10 mounts disconnected - lift the body tub up about 10 inches and block securely in place, this task may require the help of a few friends.  Disconnect the fuel tank vent lines & sender wires along with all loose wiring - being sure to tag everything.

Note:  The easiest way to perform the ongoing parts swapping - is to line up your rolling chassis next to your new body tub.   Okay,  now round up about 4-6 friends - lift the old steel body off of its frame and block it up securely for further parts removal.  Remove the dash and rear wiring harness, master cylinder, brake pedal assembly, defrost duct, heater box, battery tray, seats, seat belts and all other items.  Again be sure to tag all nuts, bolts and screws - keeping them attached to their appropriate assemblies.  You may have to remove your vapor canister bracket by drilling out the spot welds.
Now your CJ is basically stripped.  Cut 2 pieces of cardboard for the firewall templates.  Fit the pieces to the left and right side of the old steel firewall and hold in place.  From the  inside of the old tub - mark all of the openings with a felt tip marker.  Cut the indicated holes - open and transfer these marks onto your new tubs firewalls. 

Allow yourself a few hours for the next step of your installation.  A combination of drilling, sawing (with a saber saw) and the use of assorted hand files will help open the firewall holes.   Remember your new tub is fiberglass - so before beginning be sure to wear proper safety equipment.  At this point take your time drilling and be sure not to open any hole too large.  Continually check your measurements and templates - and keep holes somewhat smaller than they need to be.  Fit original parts into the new holes and enlarge for proper clearance - so you can make sure that there will be no additional trimming required after you've cleaned up.

Keeping your sanity in mind - your new USBS tub is manufactured with aluminum in the firewall (not steel) this makes opening some of the odder shaped holes easier along with keeping the rigidity you need in an important attach area.  next, make a template, transfer and cut open the transmission hole, fuel filler, side marker, taillight, cowl panel and windshield defrost duct holes.

Check and double check your frames original welds, the wiring and hoses, while your body is off to avoid future problems.  Make any necessary repairs or adjustment to these areas now while accessibility is available.  Don't forget to check your U-joints, differential oils and vents, brakes, etc....  and retorque all bolts to ensure the safety of you and your passengers. 

Lift your new body up and lower into place on your frame (This will require 2-4 people).  Center it  from left to right and front to rear - by using a tape measure and checking the distance from the frame to the bodies edge.  Shim the body up, cut and install your rubber body mount stock to fit snug under the front mounts and the mounts just in front of the fuel tank.  Once the body is lined up, mark all mount locations on the body from underneath with a pencil.  If these original mount locations do not line up properly with the under body braces - choose a close point on the frame and make that your new body mount location.  Temporarily install your roll bar drill the holes through the top of the rear wheel wells  and make a 1/4" thick plate to fit under the wheel well - so this plate can be connected to the vehicles frame - thus sandwiching the wheel well between the roll bar and the frame. (This method of installation for your roll bar ensure that it will be as functional as it was in the original vehicle - by virtually connecting it to the frame - not just the wheel well top.)    Remove the new tub and inspect the frame one last time - be sure to paint or undercoat all exposed raw steel.   

On the body, drill all the mount holes previously marked.   Also drill a few drain holes at the lowest point of your bodies floor.  Set the 4 previously cut body mounts in place and align your body.  Measure the 6 attaching points for bolt length, being sure to use your original lower donut - we recommend getting a high tensile strength steel bolt along with OD washers and fiber lock nuts.  Install your seat brackets by the outboard body mounts and bolt them securely in place.  Install and tighten all of your body mounts securely and check them over the next year (and periodically after that) to ensure safety. 

The body tub assembly is done in reveres order of the instructions with the following exceptions.

When installing your shiny new CJ Tub - we recommend all new stainless steel bolts, washers and fiber lock nuts.  This stainless steel hardware along with your shiny new CJ tub should just about last forever. (Hell, they'll probably bury you in it!)   Start by installing your battery tray, heater box & defrost duct .  New holes may need to be drilled in the defrost duct to move it away from the firewall.  Silicon the duct and screw it in place.  Line up the dash - mark and drill all attaching holes to your Shiny new bodies dash flange, Note for the next step, remember , each body is different and our measurement were accurate for the body we worked with.  Yours may vary.    Install your pedal assembly by cutting 1/2" to 3/4" off of the bracket and elongate the dash mount bracket holes at least 1/2".  This needs to be done because the new tubs firewall is much thicker than the original wafer thin steel.   Then secure your pedal assembly to the firewall.

Reinstall the windshield support nuts & knobs. (Tip: the 2 windshield frame nuts can be installed as follows..... wax the threads on your knobs and put a nut and washer behind the dash - and tighten the knob securely. Then 2-part epoxy the nuts -for the knob- in place by covering them with a glob of epoxy.   When dry remove the knobs and the nuts should remain firmly in place.)  :-o

Install your dash with your new stainless bolts and fiber lock nuts.  Note: the center dash bolt hole must be drilled through the defrost duct.   Place its nut inside the duct and tighten securely.  Reinstall you fuse block, fuel lines, heater hoses, seats, steering column, wiring, etc...etc....etc....
Be sure to run lots of grounding wires - Remember fiberglass does not conduct electricity!!!

Install your clutch linkage & everything else that appears left over, loose or hanging around.  Remember spare parts are not a good thing!!!!  Drill and install your hood and windshield frame hinges with new stainless bolts, washers and fiber lock nuts.  Then position your fenders & drill a 5/8" hole in all fender mount locations.  Slip in the supplied rubber and brass well nuts and install and tighten your fenders.  (they are now shock mounted.)   At this point there should not be very much left to do aside from  basic block sanding - paint - etc....etc....etc....oh yeah, your now on your own.

The installation of seat belts and a certified roll bar should be done by a licensed welder/body shop/chassis shop.  These items should be tied to your frame itself!  The installer is solely responsible for the safety and proper installation of this vehicle.  Keeping this in mind everything possible must be done to ensure the safety of the driver and passengers.

Fiberglass is flammable and its fumes can be deadly when burned.   Note:   You have somewhat changed the characteristics of your CJ steering and handling by removing your tired old steel body and installing a new light weight model.  You have less dead weight to drag around and your vehicle should be somewhat more responsive and your center of gravity lower.  In addition, your new CJ may sit 1 - 2" higher than it did, due to weight reduction.


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U.S.Body Source inc.,,,,,
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